Gateway opened on all the wealth of the Universe ee55fee3-a0c^. Gateway - Frederik Pohl - Free ebook download as ePub .epub), Text File .txt) or read book online for free. Gateway - Frederik Pohl. Gateway (Heechee Saga) [Frederik Pohl] on tvnovellas.info *FREE* shipping have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.
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Gateway opened on all the wealth of the Universe and on reaches of unimaginable horror. When prospector Bob Broadhead went out to Gateway on the. Science fiction, Hugo Award Winner, award:hugo_award=, In library, award:hugo_award=novel. My name is Robinette Broadhead, in spite of which I am male. Heechee Saga (1). Frederik Pohl, Jr. was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father His novel Gateway won four "year's best novel" awards: the Hugo voted by.
View Citation summary One of science fiction's undisputed grandmasters, Frederik Pohl built an astonishing career that spanned more than seven decades. In publishing novels, short stories, and essays, Pohl won millions of readers and seemingly as many awards while leaving a lasting mark on the genre. Michael R. Page traces Pohl's extraordinary journey from discovering books as a boy at the Brooklyn Public Library to publishing the novel All the Lives He Led at age A first-of-its-kind study, Frederik Pohl delves into the iconic works of fiction like The Space Merchants , Jem , and the tales of the Gateway universe, as well as Pohl's creative alliances with the likes of Kornbluth, Clarke, and Asimov. But Page also examines Pohl's as-essential contributions in other areas.
For the right price, anyone can climb aboard one of the abandoned Heechee spaceships, castoff on an autopilot voyage to parts unknown, and takea chance on finding wealth.
Robinette Broadhead took that chance and walked awaya winner. But at what cost? But only after a personal journey more terrifying and, ultimately, more devastating than his last fateful trip into space.
Gateway is the best thing he has ever written, it deserves careful attention. Get this one. Space Opera. Paperback —. download the Paperback: Add to Cart. Also by Frederik Pohl. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Related Articles.
The Burckhardts stared at each other for a heartbeat, then hurried fearfully to the window. There were no rumbling fire engines in the street, only a small panel truck, cruising slowly along. Flaring loud-speaker horns crowned its top. From them issued the screaming sound of sirens, growing in intensity, mixed with the rumble of heavy-duty engines and the sound of bells. It was a perfect record of fire engines arriving at a four-alarm blaze.
What are they up to? Whoever the pranksters in the car were, they apparently had a police permit for their games. The car took a position in the middle of the block and stood silent for a few minutes. Then there was a crackle from the speaker, and a giant voice chanted: Feckle Freezers! Feckle Freezers! Gotta have a Feckle Freezer! Every house on the block had faces staring out of windows by then.
The voice was not merely loud; it was nearly deafening. Abruptly the noise stopped and the truck stood silent. It was impossible to believe that, a moment ago, the silent block had been bellowing the name of a freezer.
He yawned and turned away from the window. You know who owns an Ajax Freezer? Fairies own Ajax Freezers! You know who owns a Triplecold Freezer? Commies own Triplecold Freezers! Every freezer but a brand-new Feckle Freezer stinks! Get out and buy a Feckle Freezer right away! Hurry up! Hurry for Feckle! It stopped eventually. Burckhardt licked his lips.
It caught him off guard; it was intended to catch him off guard. Cheap freezers ruin your food. Buy a Feckle, Feckle, Feckle, Feckle! Do you want to eat rotten, stinking food? With fingers that kept stabbing the wrong holes, Burckhardt finally managed to dial the local police station.
He got a busy signal-it was apparent that he was not the only one with the same idea-and while he was shakily dialing again, the noise outside stopped.
He looked out the window. The truck was gone. Burckhardt loosened his tie and ordered another Frosty-Flip from the waiter. The new paint job-searing reds and blinding yellows-was bad enough, but someone seemed to have the delusion that this was January instead of June; the place was a good ten degrees warmer than outside.
He swallowed the Frosty-Flip in two gulps. It had a kind of peculiar flavor, he thought, but not bad. It certainly cooled you off, just as the waiter had promised. He reminded himself to pick up a carton of them on the way home; Mary might like them.
She was always interested in something new. He stood up awkwardly as the girl came across the restaurant toward him. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in Tylerton. Chin-height, honey-blond hair and a figure that-well, it was all hers.
There was no doubt in the world that the dress that clung to her was the only thing she wore. He felt as if he were blushing as she greeted him. He came to with a start and realized that the waiter was leaving with an order for filets mignon for two. As soon as the main office found out about what happened, they sent representatives around to every house on the block to apologize.
Because truly, Mr. Burckhardt, it is a fine freezer. She was enchanting. But really, Mr. There had been a curious interview with a little man named Swanson, whom he barely knew, who had stopped him with desperate urgency on the street-and then left him cold. Barth, for the first time since Burckhardt had worked there, was out for the day-leaving Burckhardt stuck with the quarterly tax returns. It had been the damnedest day, Burckhardt thought later, on his way up to bed.
At the head of the stairs, the weakened spring in the electric light switch refused to click at all. He snapped it back and forth angrily and, of course, succeeded in jarring the tumbler out of its pins. The wires shorted and every light in the house went out.
He disconnected the bad switch with a screwdriver, tumbled down into the black kitchen, found the flashlight and climbed gingerly down the cellar stairs. He located a spare fuse, pushed an empty trunk over to the fuse box to stand on and twisted out the old fuse.
When the new one was in, he heard the starting click and steady drone of the refrigerator in the kitchen overhead. He headed back to the steps, and stopped. Where the old trunk had been, the cellar floor gleamed oddly bright. He inspected it in the flashlight beam. It was metal! He shook his head unbelievingly. He peered closer, rubbed the edges of the metallic patch with his thumb and acquired an annoying cut-the edges were sharp.
The stained cement floor of the cellar was a thin shell. He found a hammer and cracked it off in a dozen spots-everywhere was metal. The whole cellar was a copper box. Even the cement-brick walls were false fronts over a metal sheath!
Baffled, he attacked one of the foundation beams. That, at least, was real wood. The glass in the cellar windows was real glass. He sucked his bleeding thumb and tried the base of the cellar stairs. Real wood. He chipped at the bricks under the oil burner. Real bricks. The retaining walls, the floor-they were faked. It was as though someone had shored up the house with a frame of metal and then laboriously concealed the evidence. The biggest surprise was the upside-down boat hull that blocked the rear half of the cellar, relic of a brief home-workshop period that Burckhardt had gone through a couple of years before.
From above, it looked perfectly normal. Inside, though, where there should have been thwarts and seats and lockers, there was a mere tangle of braces, rough and unfinished.
He leaned against the hull dizzily, trying to think this thing through. For reasons beyond his comprehension, someone had taken his boat and his cellar away, maybe his whole house, and replaced them with a clever mock-up of the real thing. He stared around in the light of the flash. For long minutes, Burckhardt contemplated the uncertain picture of his own sanity.
Page 16 He peered under the boat again, hoping to reassure himself that it was a mistake, just his imagination.
But the sioppy, unfinished bracing was unchanged. He crawled under for a better look, feeling the rough wood incredulously. Utterly impossible! He switched off the flashlight and started to wriggle out.
In the moment between the command to his legs to move and the crawling out, he felt a sudden draining weariness flooding through him. Consciousness went-not easily, but as though it were being taken away, and Guy Burckhardt was asleep. On the morning of June 16th, Guy Burckhardt woke up in a cramped position huddled under the hull of the boat in his basement and raced upstairs to find it was June 15th.
The first thing he had done was to make a frantic, hasty inspection of the boat hull, the faked cellar floor, the imitation stone. They were all as he had remembered them, all completely unbelievable. The kitchen was its placid, unexciting self. The electric clock was purring soberly around the dial. His wife would be waking at any moment. Burckhardt flung open the front door and stared out into the quiet street.
The morning paper was tossed carelessly against the steps, and as he retrieved it, he noticed that this was the 15thday of June.
But that was impossible. Yesterday was the 15thof June. It was not a date one would forget, it was quarterly tax-return day. Barometric pressure thirty point zero four, rising.
United States Weather Bureau forecast for June 15th. June 15th. Things were very odd indeed. Mary Burckhardt was sitting upright in bed with the terrified, uncomprehending stare of someone just waking out of a nightmare.
Mary looked astonished, then alarmed, then placatory and uneasy. You know, when the switch at the head of the stairs stuck. I turned out the lights myself last night. Come here and take a look! It was as it had always been. Unbelieving, Burckhardt pressed it and the lights sprang up in both halls. Mary, looking pale and worried, left him to go down to the kitchen and start breakfast.
Burclthardt stood staring at the switch for a long time. His mental processes were gone beyond the point of disbelief and shock; they simply were not functioning. He shaved and dressed and ate his breakfast in a state of numb introspection. She kissed him good-by as he hurried out to the bus without another word.
Miss Mitkin, at the reception desk, greeted him with a yawn. After a long while, he forced himself to open them. They were. By lunchtime, driven by a desperate sense of urgency, Burckhardt made Miss Mitkin take her lunch hour first-the June-fifteenth-thatwas-yesterday, he had gone first. The phone rang and Burckhardt picked it up abstractedly. Burckhardt waited expectantly, but that was all. Swanson, is there something you want?
You came up to me yesterday and went through this routine. Oh, my good heavens, you remember! Just wait there. Say, hold on a minute. Will you be alone in the office? Look, Burckhardt, where do you eat lunch? Is it good and noisy? The Crystal Cafe. Meet you in half an hour! The Crystal Cafe was no longer painted red, but the temperature was still up.
And they had added piped-in music interspersed with commercials. But he heard more about them quickly enough. While he was waiting for Swanson to show up, a girl in the cellophane skirt of a nightclub cigarette vendor came through the restaurant with a tray of tiny scarlet-wrapped candies.
But as she scattered a handful of the confections over the table next to his, smiling at the occupants, he caught a glimpse of her and turned to stare.
The girl dropped her tray of candies. Burckhardt rose, concerned over the girl. The manager of the restaurant was staring suspiciously at Burckhardt, who sank back in his seat and tried to look inconspicuous.
Maybe she was just a very strictly reared young lady, he thought-in spite of the long bare legs under the cellophane skirt-and when he addressed her, she thought he was a masher. Page 19 Ridiculous idea. Burckhardt scowled uneasily and picked up his menu. Burckhardt looked up over the top of his menu, startled.
In the seat across from him, the little man named Swanson was sitting, tensely poised. If you want to stay alive, come on! There was no arguing with the man. Burckhardt gave the hovering manager a sick, apologetic smile and followed Swanson out. The little man seemed to know where he was going. In the street, he clutched Burckhardt by the elbow and hurried him off down the block.
The air had a nip in it- more like October than June, Burckhardt thought, in spite of the weather bureau. The little man might be crazy, but he was afraid.
And the fear was infectious. It was another restaurant-more of a bar, really, and a sort of second-rate place that Burckhardt had never patronized. It was L-shaped, with a front on two streets at right angles to each other. They came out on the side street, Swanson staring coldly back at the question-looking cashier, and crossed to the opposite sidewalk.
They were under the marquee of a movie theater. Burckhardt trailed him into the theater. It was a weekday matinee and the place was almost empty. A solitary usher, leaning against a bright brass rail, looked briefly at them and went back to staring boredly at the picture as Swanson led Burckhardt down a flight of carpeted marble steps.
They were in the lounge and it was empty. Swanson listened at the door, and gently opened it and peered inside. Burckhardt followed him through an empty office, to another door Page 20 a closet, probably, because it was unmarked. But it was no closet. Swanson opened it warily, looked inside, then motioned Burckhardt to follow. It was a tunnel, metal-walled, brightly lit. Empty, it stretched vacantly away in both directions from them. Burckhardt looked wondering around. One thing he knew and knew full well: No such tunnel belonged under Tylerton.
There was a room off the tunnel with chairs and a desk and what looked like television screens. Swanson slumped in a chair, panting.
Who got me when? All right. It was about two months ago that you banged on my door, late at night. You were all beat up-scared silly. You were talking a blue streak about being captured and threatened, and your wife being dead and coming back to life, and all kinds of mixed-up nonsense.
I thought you were crazy. And you begged me to hide you and I have this darkroom, you know. It locks from the inside only.
I put the lock on myself. So we went in there-just to humor you-and along about midnight, which was only fifteen or twenty minutes after, we passed out.
It was like being hit with a sandbag. And then all of a sudden we were awake again, and you said you were going to show me something funny, and we went out and bought a paper. And the date on it was June 15th. Four or five, maybe, I lost count. And every day the same-always the 15thof June, always my landlady, Mrs.
Keefer, is sweeping the front steps, always the same headline in the papers at the corner. It gets monotonous, friend. He was the type who always went along. But he went along. He was sure of only one thing the tunnel went somewhere. Martians or Russians, fantastic plot or crazy hallucination, whatever was wrong with Tylerton had an explanation, and the place to look for it was at the end of the tunnel.
They jogged along. It was more than a mile before they began to see an end. They were in luck-at least no one came through the tunnel to spot them. But Swanson had said that it was only at certain hours that the tunnel seemed to be in use. Always the fifteenth of June.
Burckhardt asked himself. Never mind the how. And falling asleep, completely involuntarily-everyone at the same time, it seemed. And not remembering, never remembering anything-Swanson had said how eagerly he saw Burckhardt again, the morning after Burckhardt had incautiously waited five minutes too many before retreating into the darkroom.
When Swanson had come to, Burckhardt was gone. Swanson had seen him in the street that afternoon, but Burckhardt had remembered nothing. It was by seeing her walk carelessly into a telephone booth and never come out that Swanson had found the tunnel. There were more, at least a dozen that Swanson knew of or suspected. They were easy enough to spot, once you knew where to look, for they alone in Tylerton changed their roles from day to day.
Burckhardt was on that bus, every morning of every day-that-was-June-i 5th, never different by a hair or a moment. But April Horn was sometimes gaudy in the cellophane skirt, giving away candy or cigarettes; sometimes plainly dressed; sometimes not seen by Swanson at all.
Page 22 Russians? Whatever they were, what could they be hoping to gain from this mad masquerade? They listened carefully and heard distant sounds that could not quite be made out, but nothing that seemed dangerous. They slipped through. And, through a wide chamber and up a flight of steps, they found they were in what Burckhardt recognized as the Contro Chemicals plant. Nobody was in sight. By itself, that was not so very odd; the automatized factory had never had very many persons in it.
But Burckhardt remembered, from his single visit, the endless, ceaseless busyness of the plant, the valves that opened and closed, the vats that emptied themselves and filled themselves and stirred and cooked and chemically tasted the bubbling liquids they held inside themselves. The plant was never populated, but it was never still.
Only now it was still. Except for the distant sounds, there was no breath of life in it. The captive electronic minds were sending out no commands; the coils and relays were at rest.
They walked as though they were in the presence of the dead. In a way, they were, for what were the automatons that once had run the factory, if not corpses? The machines were controlled by computers that were really not computers at all, but the electronic analogues of living brains. And if they were turned off, were they not dead?
For each had once been a human mind. Take a master petroleum chemist, infinitely skilled in the separation of crude oil into its fractions. Strap him down, probe into his brain with searching electronic needles.
The machine scans the patterns of the mind, translates what it sees into charts and sine waves. Impress these same waves on a robot computer and you have your chemist. Or a thousand copies of your chemist, if you wish, with all of his knowledge and skill, and no human limitations at all. Put a dozen copies of him into a plant and they will run it all, twenty-four hours a day, seven days of every week, never tiring, never overlooking anything, never forgetting.
Swanson stepped up closer to Burckhardt. They were across the room now and the sounds were louder. They were not machine sounds, but voices; Burcld-iardt moved cautiously up to a door and dared to peer around it. It was a smaller room, lined with television screens, each one-a dozen or more, at least-with a man or woman sitting before it, staring into the screen and dictating notes into a recorder. The viewers dialed from scene to scene; no two screens ever showed the same picture.
The pictures seemed to have llttle in common. One was a store, where a girl dressed like April Horn was demonstrating home freezers. One was a series of shots of kitchens. Burckhardt caught a glimpse of what looked like the cigar stand in his office building.
It was baffling and Burckhardt would have loved to stand there and puzzle it out, but it was too busy a Page 23 place. There was the chance that someone would look their way or walk out and find them. They found another room. This one was empty. It was an office, large and sumptuous. It had a desk, littered with papers. Burckhardt stared at them, briefly at first-then, as the words on one of them caught his attention, with incredulous fascination.
He snatched up the topmost sheet, scanned it, and another, while Swanson was frenziedly searching through the drawers. Burckhardt swore unbelievingly and dropped the papers to the desk. Not the cops in Tylerton, but the F.
Take a look at this! Subject: Marlin Cigarettes Campaign. The tests in the K12 group were second best and our recommendation is that retests be conducted in this appeal, testing each of the three best campaigns with and without the addition of sampling techniques. An alternative suggestion might be to proceed directly with the top appeal in the K12 series, if the client is unwilling to go to the expense of additional tests.
These people are advertising men! They pour advertising into us the whole damned day long. And at the end of the day, they see what happened-and then they wash the day out of our minds and start again the next day with different advertising. He managed to close it and swallow. Burckhardt shook his head. How else would you Page 24 explain it? And once you admit that somebody, somehow, knows how to accomplish that, the rest of it makes all kinds of sense.
They test every last detail before they spend a nickel on advertising! Do you have any idea what that means? Lord knows how much money is involved, but I know for a fact that some companies spend twenty or thirty million dollars a year on advertising.
Multiply it, say, by a hundred companies. Say that every one of them learns how to cut its advertising cost by only ten per cent. He sets up a series of little colonies of germs on gelatin disks and he tries the stuff on one after another, changing it a little each time. This is the office of somebody important. Swanson subsided and found a place to sit, against the wall, out of sight of the door.
Burckhardt took up a position behind the door itself- And waited. The wait was not as long as it might have been. Half an hour, perhaps.
Then Burckhardt heard approaching voices and had time for a swift whisper to Swanson before he flattened himself against the wall. One lousy unit out of twenty-one thousand. And the way he got out of sight, he must have had some help. Burckhardt kicked it shut and pointed the gun. It was worth the terrified hours, the bewildered sense of insanity, the confusion and fear. It was the most satisfying sensation Burckhardt had ever had in his life. The girl was almost as surprised.
And Burckhardt, looking at her, knew why her voice had been so familiar. The girl was the one who had introduced herself to him as April Horn. Dorchin recovered himself quickly. You were right. Uh, you-Burckhardt. What do you want? He might have another gun. We want you to come along with us to the FBI and explain to them how you can get away with kidnaping twenty thousand people.
Take my word for it! Now how do we get out of here? Kill you? Get us out of here! He seemed about to move; but the blond girl he had called Janet slipped between him and the gun. Dorchin, his face unreadable, headed for the door. Burckhardt had been pushed one degree too far. He swung the gun, bellowing. The girl called out sharply.
He pulled the trigger. Closing on him with pity and pleading in her eyes, she came again between the gun and the man. Burckhardt aimed low instinctively, to cripple, not to kill. But his aim was not good. The pistol bullet caught her in the pit of the stomach. Dorchin was out and away, the door slamming behind him, his footsteps racing into the distance. Burckhardt hurled the gun across the room and jumped to the girl. Swanson was moaning. Oh, why did you do it?
We could have got away.
We could have gone to the police. We were practically out of here! He was kneeling beside the girl. She lay flat on her back, arms helterskelter.
There was no blood, hardly any sign of the wound; but the position in which she lay was one that no living human being could have held. There was no pulse, but there was a rhythmic ticking of the outstretched fingers of one hand. There was no sound of breathing, but there was a hissing, sizzling noise. The eyes were open and they were looking at Burckhardt.
There was neither fear nor pain in them, only a pity deeper than the Pit. Where there should have been blood, there was a clean break of a substance that was not flesh; and a curl of thin golden-copper wire. Burckhardt moistened his lips. Page 27 The girl tried to nod. And so are you. Burckhardt rocked back and forth beside the shattered puppet on the floor.
He had no words. Makes it difficult to- control this body.